Tuesday, 28 August 2012 05:38

Is Obama responding to Jindal’s Isaac declaration request for Louisiana?

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President Barack Obama gave a short statement regarding his administration’s efforts to deal with the Tropical storm Isaac, which is expected to become a hurricane.

However, is the President’s effort sufficient in the eyes of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal?

Jindal openly criticized the President on Monday for failing to respond to the entire request for Isaac relief.



Below is the President’s statement from Tuesday morning and the governor’s letter to the Obama administration from Monday night .  

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  This morning I want to say a few words about tropical storm Isaac and the steps that we’re taking to keep people safe and minimize the damage.

     I just got an update from Secretary Napolitano, Administrator Fugate, the head of FEMA, and Dr. Rick Knabb, the director of the National Hurricane Center, on preparations that underway in the Gulf.  This storm isn’t scheduled to make landfall until later today, but at my direction FEMA has been on the ground for over a week working with state and local officials in areas that could be affected -- from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Florida, and more recently, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

     Yesterday I approved a disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana so they can get the help that they need right away, particularly around some of the evacuations that are taking place.  And right now, we already have response teams and supplies ready to help communities in the expected path of the storm. 

     As we prepare for Isaac to hit, I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate.  We’re dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area.  Now is not the time to tempt fate.  Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings.  You need to take this seriously.

     And finally, I want to thank everyone who has been working around the clock to get ready for Isaac.  The hardest work, of course, is still ahead.  And as President, I’ll continue to make sure that the federal government is doing everything possible to help the American people prepare for and recover from this dangerous storm.  And as we get additional updates from the Hurricane Center as well as from FEMA in terms of activities on the ground, we’ll be providing continuous updates both at the local and the national level.

     Thank you.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has been a frequent critic of President Barack Obama.

He openly criticized the President during the BP oil spill and while on the campaign road for Mitt Romney recently has called the president, incompetent.

He has blamed the president for spending too much money and bankrupting the country.

He was scheduled to be a key speaker at the GOP convention in which he would be praising Romney and denouncing Obama.

This weekend, the Tropical storm Isaac has begun to threaten Louisiana. Governor Jindal, who opted to stay home from the GOP convention and manage the storm crises inflicting the state said at a recent news conference that now is not the time for politics that there will be plenty of time for politics.

Well, maybe the time for politics is here.

Jindal is not satisfied with financial assistance the President has granted Louisiana as per Jindal’s prior request.

Below is a press statement, issued Monday night, from Governor Jindal’s press office:

Following a very limited federal disaster declaration by the President of the United States that only granted a portion of the state’s request, Governor Bobby Jindal sent a letter to the federal government requesting a full disaster declaration for the state.

The White House issued a release today which states that “the declaration builds on resources already deployed by FEMA and makes Federal funding available for certain emergency activities undertaken by the state to prepare for and respond to the storm.” However, the limited declaration does not provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state is taking to prepare for the storm.

Below is the Governor’s letter to the federal government:

August 27, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House

Washington, D. C.

Through: Mr. Tony Robinson

Regional Administrator

FEMA Region VI

800 North Loop 288

Denton, TX 76209-3698

Dear Mr. President:

I have received your approval of a limited federal declaration of emergency for Tropical Storm Isaac for the State of Louisiana. We appreciate your response to our request and your approval. However, the State’s original request for federal assistance dated August 26, 2012 included a request for reimbursement for all emergency protective measures. The federal declaration of emergency only provides for direct federal assistance.

In a release issued by the White House today, it said “the declaration builds on resources already deployed by FEMA and makes Federal funding available for certain emergency activities undertaken by the state to prepare for and respond to the storm.” Unfortunately, your limited declaration does not provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state is taking to prepare for the storm.

As of 5 p.m. Central time today, the National Weather Service forecasts this storm to strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane and squarely impact the State of Louisiana. The increased urgency of the situation necessitates that we re-emphasize the request for full federal assistance for the State.

The projected path of the storm has continued to shift westward and now threatens the entire State of Louisiana. The rapidity of the path’s westward movement has increased the potential impact of this storm from a slight chance of affecting southeastern Louisiana to now threatening the entire state. The speed with which this threat developed has necessitated extraordinary emergency protective measures at the State and local government level.

Since the State of Louisiana is faced with a rapidly developing situation that threatens a large percentage of our population, please consider the following developments as a supplement to the request submitted yesterday.

At this time 34 parishes have declared a state of emergency:

Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Livingston, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St Bernard, St Charles, St Helena, St James, St John, St Martin, St Mary, St Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge.

We request that you expand the designations to include all of these parishes. We expect more parishes to declare a state of emergency.

There are currently 9 areas covered by mandatory evacuation orders:

Jefferson – Grand Isle

Jefferson –Town of Jean Lafitte

Jefferson – Crown Pointe

Jefferson – Barataria

Lafourche – Low lying parishes

Plaquemines – From Braithwaite to White Ditch on the East Bank

Plaquemines – From Ironton South to Venice

St Charles – Parish Wide Evacuation

Tangipahoa – Town of Winnsboro, Lee’s Landing, and low-lying areas

As of this morning, I have activated 4,126 Louisiana National Guardsmen, an emergency contract for over 300 commercial buses, and over 5,000 shelter spaces to respond to the wide ranging projected path of this storm, move our citizens out of harm’s way and provide them with shelter. The school districts in the path of the storm have cancelled school until this dangerous storm passes.

All of these actions are appropriate and necessary responses to the threat of this storm. While Tropical Storm Isaac has yet to strike the state, it has necessitated significant amounts of State and local government expenditures. The State’s expenditures for emergency protective measures are already approximately $8,000,000 and exceed the State of Louisiana’s threshold when making a request for a major disaster declaration.

Given the extraordinary developments of this storm and its approaching impact on the State of Louisiana, I ask that you exercise your discretion to approve the State’s pending request for all emergency protective measures. Further, I ask that you consider a cost-share adjustment to eliminate the State’s non-federal share of the costs for this event. When threatened with extraordinary disasters, states depend upon the availability of the full spectrum of assistance available under the Stafford Act.

Finally, a core responsibility of the federal government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens when threatened. This disaster declaration will help ensure that we best protect life and property in our state.


Bobby Jindal





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